Renault planning complete overhaul of F1 car for 2018

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Renault Formula 1 technical chief Nick Chester is pleased with how plans for the team’s 2018 car are coming along, promising a “completely new” design despite the stability in the technical regulations heading into next season.

Renault has progressed up the F1 field since returning to the sport with a works team in 2016, and currently sits eighth in the constructors’ championship with two races remaining this season.

The team has arguably boasted the strongest development of its car through 2017, and although this may lay good groundwork for next season, Chester revealed plans are in the works for an overhaul of the current car despite the lack of changes between the regulations for next year.

“We’re making strong progress at Enstone and [2018 is] where our focus lies. It’s a completely new car despite a relatively low number of regulation changes,” Chester said.

“We’ve learnt a lot on the aerodynamic package and the balance of a car built to 2017 regulations, so the car should represent a strong step forward.

“We’ll be doing some aero runs in practice in Brazil with a variety of aero instrumentation to help prepare the 2018 package.”

Renault will be represented on the grid by Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr. in 2018, with the latter joining the team four races early after a deal was brokered to usher out Jolyon Palmer after a tough season.

Sainz finished seventh on debut for Renault, and has already made a positive impact on the team in Chester’s eyes.

“Carlos has been very good. He had a fantastic race in Austin, he works with the team brilliantly, qualifies well and I think he’s done a great job so far,” Chester said.

“Mexico was tricky with low grip, particularly in the wake of other cars, which led to the spin in the race.”